CA, of Islandia, N.Y., first released the code for its relational database into the open-source community in beta form and under a license it created—the CA-TOSL (CA Trusted Open Source License)—in May at its CA World users conference.
Soon after, the company upped the ante in its bid to create an instant community around the database by announcing a total of $1 million in reward money to be parceled out to developers who come up with tools to migrate database users onto Ingres. CA is accepting submissions until Feb. 1. Six winners will be announced at the CA World show in April in Orlando, Fla.
Tony Gaughan, senior vice president of development at CA, said that there have been no major changes between the beta version and the GA version that is being released on Monday.
More than 15,000 people have downloaded the code since it was first released. Meanwhile, the Ingres open-source community registering at CAs site numbers around 4,000. Gaughan said that CA expects the Windows release to cause both the download total and the community count to spike dramatically.
"Obviously, we focused on Linux being the first [platform to be released], what with the open-source community," he said. But Windows is a close second in priorities when it comes to getting the database into the hands of the masses, he said, noting that about 20 percent of CAs current installed base runs on Windows. "There will be a much greater number of people downloading the Windows version. Youll see that number go up fairly rapidly."
It will have to go up substantially to compete with MySQL ABs open-source database, which currently counts itself on more than 5 million installations and brags of the most mind share of any open-source database. As it is, Ingres is not a well-known database, even though it is more mature.
"Whether or not Ingres becomes widely adopted in the industry is still yet to be seen, since MySQL still has aggressive adoption in the industry," said Noel Yuhanna, an analyst for Forrester Research Inc. "Ingres is not a highly visible database. A lot of enterprises dont even know its a database. But it definitely has maturity in terms of features and functionality. It has the edge in terms of those key functionalities."
MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, in the meantime, welcomes any and all newcomers to the realm of open-source databases, of which there have been many of late. "We think this is great!" Mickos wrote in an e-mail exchange. "Some time ago, everyone said MySQL is a toy. Now, five huge companies have validated our business model by taking steps in our direction: Sybase [Inc.] with its zero-priced, crippled version of ASE [Adaptive Server Enterprise], CA open-sourcing Ingres; Oracle [Corp.] announcing Oracle Standard Edition One; IBM open-sourcing Cloudscape; Microsoft announcing a zero-priced, crippled version of SQL Server."
CA, meanwhile, would much prefer that Ingres be compared to Oracle databases, given the enterprise-class capabilities it packs into a much smaller footprint than that of Oracles databases. Such enterprise features include high-availability clusters for failover; scalable Linux database clusters that allow customers to use commodity hardware for high availability; table partitioning and indexing; parallel query processing for scalability; online table and index reorganization; and the ability to exploit 64-bit environments.
"Ingres is a production database with a very small footprint, comparatively," Gaughan said. "If you look at comparing Ingres and Oracle, which is what were really doing most comparisons against, it has about a 100MB [footprint]. Oracle has a 8-9GB [footprint] for full transaction support, peer-to-peer replication, etc. If you take all those capabilities into account, in terms of embedded capabilities, it would be difficult for Oracle to support that. If you compare it to MySQL, theirs is probably around the same [footprint], but they dont provide anything like the features and capabilities."
MySQL Version 5.0 is expected to have more enterprise-class features and capabilities, but its "too early to tell" if it will be competitive, Gaughan said.
As far as the $1 million challenge goes, Gaughan said that forum postings show there are a large number of developers actively pursuing the purse, which will be parceled out in rewards of up to $400,000. He couldnt give any feedback on the quality of the code being written, however, since participants are keeping their work close to their vests until closer to the day of reckoning.
Ingres r3 can be downloaded here.